Roger Dubuis Introduces the Excalibur Dragon Monotourbillon

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The latest Roger Dubuis signature model is Excalibur Dragon Monotourbillon. Conceived for the recent Chinese lunar calendar, this watch features a stylized dragon made of 27 brass plates, incorporating the mythical creature into the openwork movement bridges.

first thought

Best known for its ultra-modern open-worked calibers, Roger Dubuis (RD) specializes in luxury designs such as the recent Knights of the Round Table. The Excalibur Dragon Monotourbillion is a prime example of what this brand does best. In contrast to most traditional or quirky dragon-themed watches, the Excalibur Dragon depicts dragons in a modern, almost abstract way.

It’s a big, bold watch, but you can see the attention to detail. The movement is openworked in typical RD fashion and finished according to Poinçon de Genève standards, which means, among other things, beveled edges, chambered sides and polished pins. And while its pronounced style may not be for everyone, the Excalibur Dragon is actually easier to wear than the typical complex RD watch. At 42mm in diameter and just over 12mm high, it’s a decent size compared to many of the brand’s products.

The Excalibur Dragon costs CHF 195,000, which puts it between the most obvious comparable models in its price range, making it more affordable than the Richard Mille and more expensive than the Hublot. The movement inside is probably better than rival movements, but the RD doesn’t have Richard Mille’s prestige or Hublot’s strong design codes.

In fact, the finishing of the movement is close to that of the Vacheron Constantin, which also uses a movement with the Poinçon de Genève (also known as the Geneva Seal). However, because the designs diverge, each may appeal to completely different audiences.

The only omission is the case back, which features a metalized dragon motif printed on the sapphire crystal. This feels a little too plain for an otherwise well-made watch.

brass dragon

The dragon on the dial is made up of 27 brass plates, each side decorated with black lacquer and topped with pink gold plating. The individual pieces are fitted into 25 different levels of movement bridges, each position giving the dragon a three-dimensional appearance at a different angle. The Dragon replaces the usual star-shaped bridge that characterizes most RD tourbillons and fills in the negative space on the expansive dial.

Because the movement is skeletonized, the watch has no actual dial. Instead, Super-LumiNova-filled hour markers are mounted on brass flanges, and each index mirrors his V-shaped notch in the bezel, a key design element of the Excalibur line. Continuing the case styling, the openworked pink gold hour and minute hands have a satin-brushed finish and are filled with black Super-LumiNova.

The pink gold case measures 42 mm in diameter and 12.62 mm in height, making it large but more wearable than many RD complications. The triple lugs are accented with wide polished bevels and are curved downward for added comfort. The case is water-resistant to 100 meters, which is unusual for a skeleton tourbillon, and the screw-down crown is protected by an angular crown guard that follows the sculptural lines of the lugs.

The skeletonized RD512SQ movement offers a perfect view of most of the moving parts, especially the “monotourbillon,” which is RD’s label for the flying tourbillon. The tourbillon’s lower cage, shaped like a Celtic cross, is made of non-magnetic titanium, while the upper cage is made of mirror-polished cobalt chrome. Thanks to the large visible mainspring, the hand-wound movement has a long power reserve of 72 hours.

A dragon motif is printed on the sapphire crystal on the back.

Key facts and prices

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Dragon Monotourbillon
reference. RDDBEX1111

material:Rose gold
crystal: sapphire
water resistance:100m

Movement: RD512SQ
function: Hours, minutes, seconds, flying monotourbillon
frequency: 21,600 beats/hour (3 Hz)
Take-up: manual
Power reserve: 72 hours

strap: Calfskin strap with deployment clasp

limited edition: 28 pieces
availability: Roger Dubuis boutique only
price: 195,000 Swiss Francs (excluding tax)

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